The 2021 session of Maryland’s General Assembly came to a close on April 12, and unlike last year’s version, this year’s legislative session actually went the distance.

As usual, though, the accounting and finance profession earned its annual share of key legislative victories.

Here’s a closer look:

Taxes on digital advertising / digital products
The MACPA supported the passage of Senate Bill 787, “Digital Advertising Gross Revenues, Income, Sales and Use, and Tobacco Taxes: Alterations and Implementation,” which called for more time to comply with the groundbreaking law and more clarification on which digital products are taxable. Specifically, online CPE for all non-profits was removed as a taxable product. Our heartfelt thanks go to Karen Syrylo and the members of our State and Local Tax Advisory Group for their many hours of tireless work on our profession’s behalf in this area.

Whistleblower ‘reward program’
The MACPA successfully lobbied to have the notion of false claims removed from House Bill 804, “Taxes – Whistleblower Reward Program and Statute of Limitations for Tax Collections.” Specifically, we sought to make sure tax preparers would not be held liable if a whistleblower called out one of their clients for potentially illegal activities.

Decoupling from CARES Act
The MACPA successfully supported an amendment to HB 495, “Income Tax – Internal Revenue Code Amendments – Decoupling,” to decouple the bill from the CARES Act so Paycheck Protection Program loans can be forgiven from a Maryland tax perspective.

In addition, we are happy to report that four issues we would have opposed — the addition of onerous COVID-19-related employer liability legislation; sales taxes on services; onerous data privacy legislation; and efforts to eliminate licensing requirements for many professionals — were not introduced.

Learn more in this video recap from MACPA Legislative Executive Committee Chair Tom Hood:

Read more about the General Assembly’s 2021 session here:

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